Student guide International Program A.Y. 2007/08

Italian society
Aim of the course
The course will be an introduction to modern Italian politics, society and culture in a historical and comparative perspective. Students will be provided with a basic knowledge of the main events and issues related to the period 1796-2005, i.e. from the process of Nation-Building to the Present. Participants will have the opportunity to develop themes of personal interest defined in agreement with the Lecturer, through a written paper of no less than 4.500 words. The topic of the paper can range from Literature to Economics, from Religion to Law etc., even though obviously must remain related to issues raised in class and referred to that particular period of Italian History.
Topics may include, among others:
- geographic diversity and historical processes (mountains, countryside and cities – ideas of "Nature" in Italy – cities as organizing principles of Italian life – the North/South divide);
- the Catholic Church and education of sentiments (the relationship between mother and son – Protestant versus Catholic Societies – the Catholic Church and the late formation of a Modern State in Italy);
- the Risorgimento (Italy as the "Land of Art and Beauty" – the idea of "Italy" throughout the Centuries – the role of Literature in the process of Unification);
- building the Nation-State, 1860-1914 (Parliamentary Monarchy – Liberals, Socialists and Catholics – State and Church relations – the debate on the creation of a national language);
- the Southern Question, emigration and industrial take-off, 1860-1914 (the "Civil War" in the South - the origins of the Mafia - Italy as a second comer: economy and ideology);
- First World War, the origins and development of Fascism, 1914-1929 (interventionism and neutralism – D'Annunzio and Fiume – how does a dictatorship rise to power?);
- structures and Policies of the "Totalitarian State", 1929-1940 (Italy compared to Germany and Spain – Cultural policies of the Regime – the role of women under Fascism);
- Second World War, 1940-1945 (Italo-German Relations – Italian Racialism and anti-Semitism – the Resistance – the War in Italian Literature and Collective Memory);
- the Italian Republic and the Cold War, 1945-1994 (Communists and Christian Democrats – 1968 and after – Political Terrorism - Craxi);
- the Great Transformation, since 1958 (Economic Miracle – Industrial Districts – changes in society and the physical landscape);
- Recent trends, since 1994 (further changes in economy and society – Politicians on trial - European Union - debate on Constitutional Reform – Northern Secessionism - Berlusconi).
20% e-comments on readings and participation to class 80% final research paper.
Reading list
- Best general book:- Holmes George (ed.), The Illustrated Oxford History of Italy, Oxford University Press, Oxford-New York 1997.
Suggested readings on specific periods:
- Davis John (ed.), Italy in the Nineteenth Century, Oxford University Press, Oxford-New York 2000
- Lyttelton Adrian (ed.), Liberal and Fascist Italy, 1900-1945, Oxford University Press, xford-New York 2002
- Paul Ginsborg, A History of Contemporary Italy. Society and Politics 1943-1988, Penguin, Londo etc. 1990
- McCarthy Patrick (ed.), Italy since 1945, Oxford University Press, Oxford-New York 2000